State budget debate continues


The beginning of the month marked the start of the state’s new fiscal year; however, a new state budget is still months away. Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the proposed budget House and Senate lawmakers sent to her in late June, saying that it was “unbalanced, makes false promises about what it funds, and gives unpaid-for tax giveaways to big corporations.”

The state is currently operating under a six-month continuing resolution that funds state services at last year’s funding levels. Hassan and lawmakers will continue to negotiate a budget deal throughout the summer.

Meanwhile, Hassan vetoed a number of bills that received support from Republican lawmakers. Hassan has vetoed HB 332, which would have required schools provide two weeks notice to parents before using course material that addresses “human sexuality or human sexual education,” and SB 116, which would have repealed license requirements for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver. The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, a libertarian group, will hold an “open carry” rally to protest Hassan’s veto at the Statehouse in Concord on Saturday afternoon.

Among the bills that did receive Hassan’s signature was SB 106, which prohibits the sale or possession of synthetic drugs. In a statement, Hassan said synthetic drugs are “part of the larger substance misuse challenge facing our state.” — Larry Clow